"Did you watch the game? Did you hear about the accident? They are building a new business north of town, what is it going to be?"
Shared communication can expand joy. "Guess, what? I'm _______!" Fill in the blank with: engaged, expecting, moving, taking a trip. Their joy become shared and grows.
Shared communication can bring resolve and healing. "Guess what? I'm _________ . " Fill in the blank with: dieting today, exercising, seeing a counselor, moving back home until my spouse quits drinking.
It is much easier sharing the good news than sharing painful news. The Bible tells us in Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
We can only share victories or give support if take a risk and expose our heart by sharing joys and pain.
Good ground rules for sharing pain:
1. The more personal it is to you, the more trusted relationship is required.
2. Ask Holy Spirit for the right time and the right place to share. The food court in the Mall of America is probably not a choice location for a meaningful exchange.
3. Invite the person to pray for you and let them know you value their advice.
Ground rules for hearing of one's joy or pain:
1. Embrace the news without comparison. Do not try to out joy them nor let them know their pain is small in comparison to something you went through.
2. Celebrate joy with a special cup of coffee, going out for a treat, or a joyful jig. Do something fun to celebrate!
3. Clean the wound of pain. Often, just listening brings a cleansing to the festering wound. Shared tears and prayer are like healing salve. Hold back from presenting quick solutions, but invite the Holy Spirit to bring resolve and healing.
God never intended for us to do life alone. He is the first person we are to share the deep things of our hearts. God placed people in our lives to talk and to listen in a way that benefits both.